Matthew 5:1-12 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. "Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
This then is the good news of Jesus: God does not favour the healthy, wealthy and wise. Every generation has been tempted to think that God rewards those who are strong and capable. Not so, says Jesus: Those who are spiritually poor, who mourn, and who are meek (timid, weak, lowly) are the ‘blessed’ of God. We do not first have to get well, or get strong, or get whole, before we can relate to our Creator. This is Grace.
The same holds true for the people around us. They too are welcomed by God, even when they are broken. The invitation of Lent is for us allow the Grace of God to overflow our experience to the people around us. God’s dream is for humanity to share his welcoming love with each and every person.
Prayer:Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven to earth come down;
Fix in us thy humble dwelling;
All thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
Pure unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation;
Enter every trembling heart.
Words: Charles Wesley, Hymns for Those that Seek and Those That Have Redemption in the Blood of Jesus Christ, 1747.
The Last Sunday after EpiphanyListen to Jesus Christ
Scripture reading taken from A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants p.100